July 31, 2014

Elyria
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Boys basketball: Ridgeville re-energizes to beat Firelands

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Whatever Bill Noggle said at the end of the first quarter was said loud enough to be heard by almost everyone in the building.

Fortunately for Noggle, the people closest to him — the ones who needed to hear what he had to say — got the message and took it to heart.

“It was about our energy,” said Noggle, the North Ridgeville coach. “Our energy wasn’t there. I had to remind our players that they needed to play with energy. They responded.”

The Rangers reponded well enough to dominate the second quarter on their way to a 57-46 victory over Firelands in a West Shore Conference game Tuesday.

North Ridgeville (7-11, 4-6) outscored the Falcons 21-8 in the second quarter and were never in deep trouble the rest of the evening. The Rangers held an 18-point lead midway through the fourth quarter reduced to a single-digit lead as Firelands (4-14, 2-10) went on a 12-2 burst, but with only 40 seconds to play it was a run that came too late.

Firelands led 11-9 at the end of the initial quarter, but never led again when a basket by Ben Nelson at 7:11 of the second gave the Rangers a 12-11 advantage. North Ridgeville hit eight of 14 from the field and sank three 3-point baskets in the period. A 3-point goal by Danny Montgomery with eight seconds left gave North Ridgeville a 30-19 lead.

Cody Northeim of Firelands hit a 3-pointer to start the second half, but North Ridgeville scored the next seven points, and the margin stayed in double figures Kyle Smith’s layup off a backcourt steal made it 55-46 with 40 seconds to play.

Heroes were plenty for the Rangers. Montgomery scored 18 points and handed out six assists. Nate Alpine scored 13 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds. Mark Szylakowski added 11 points and eight rebounds and held Smith to just two points before the game’s final 1:38.

“Danny had his best offensive game of the year in my mind,” Noggle said. “I don’t know how many assists he had, but he ran the floor nicely. Nate played like he was the tallest player on the court. He has been getting tougher on the rebounding lately. Mark did a great job on Smith, who’s a heck of a penetrator.”

“This was a nice win,” Szylakowski said. “It stopped a (five-game) losing streak. We will try to win the next two and be going up as we enter the postseason tournament.”

Firelands led after one quarter in spite of hitting only five of 21 field goal attempts for the first eight minutes.

“Shooting has been a problem for us all season,” Firelands coach Steve Lias said. “I still thought our kids played hard. We hit some shots tonight that we hadn’t been hitting.

“Our guys battled to the end,” Lias added. “North Ridgeville is a very athletic team. If we just could have hit a few more shots. We were about two possessions away from being right there at the end of the game.”

The outcome was an improvement over the first time the Falcons played North Ridgeville when the Rangers won by 20 points at Firelands.

“For some reason, we do much better on the road,” Lias said. “I don’t know what it is — home-court pressure, maybe.”
Chris Striebing scored in the lane off an assist from Montgomery to give the Rangers their 18-point lead at 4:08 remaining.

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N. Ridgeville 57, Firelands 46

FIRELANDS (46): Joey Ritz 2-2-7, Kyle Smith 3-1-7, Cody Northeim 6-0-14, Brett Helton 5-0-12, Nick Deichler 1-1-4, Greg Danicki 1-0-2, Nick Bauer 0-0-0. Totals 18-4-46.

NORTH RIDGEVILLE (57): Danny Montgomery 6-4-18, Anthony Grazetti 1-0-3, Ben Nelson 4-1-9, Mark Szylakowski 5-0-11, Nate Alpine 5-3-13, Micah Pycraft 0-0-0, Chris Striebing 1-1-3, Andrew Sismour 0-0-0. Totals 22-9-57.

Firelands 11 8 12 15 — 46

North Ridgeville 9 21 14 13 — 57

Three-point goals: Firelands 6-24 (Helton 2, Northeim 2, Ritz, Deichler), North Ridgeville 4-18 (Montgomery 2, Grazetti, Szylakowski). Field goals: Firelands 18-59 (30.5 percent), North Ridgeville 22-45 (48.9 percent). Free throws: Firelands 4-9, North Ridgeville 9-17. Rebounds: Firelands 27 (Helton 8), North Ridgeville 41 (Alpine 16). Turnovers: Firelands 11, North Ridgeville 19. Total fouls: Firelands 15, North Ridgeville 14. Fouled out: None. Junior varsity: North Ridgeville, 52-27.

Contact Steve Byrne at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.